I found this gem in a long-forgotten folder in my Dropbox.
If I remember right, I wrote this story for a writing group many years ago. This version is really short, so maybe I wrote something different in the end.
The prompt was a picture like the one below. Actually, this might be the picture. How many abandoned ballrooms have a single chair sitting in the middle?
This is unedited, so please forgive the errors.
I looked at the empty, dilapidated ball room and wondered if the original owner had been on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland before they had designed it, or not.
The single chair sitting in the middle of the cracked up dance floor was a nice touch.
I half expected to see a woman dressed in a flowing, blue gown mournfully crying that she hadn’t been asked to dance all of the dances to float across the floor. Either that or a clown. Because, well, you know, clowns are creepy. And a single chair hanging out all by itself could only be a sign of bad things to come.
Like buying this place with the intent to fix it up.
Who’s idea had that been anyway?
I heard the clomping of the idea master’s heels before she rounded the corner. “What do you think?” Marci asked as she handed me a bottle of water.
I took it and used it to point to the gargantuan sky light. “I think we should for sure put some strobe lights outside and have a rave for the opening of the hotel.”
She gave me that squished face, “whatever” look that she only reserved for my more sarcastic moments. After what seemed like an extra long squishy face, she put her arm around my waist and snuggled up next to me. “Oh come on, it’ll be fun.”
If by fun she meant it would take us two days—if we were lucky—just to get to the original tile of the floor then yes, it would be a blast. Who didn’t love scraping biological weapons off of a rotting floor?
“Sure,” I said. “Super fun.”
Marci laughed. “Won’t it be beautiful after we restore it?”
I had to admit, it would be. But it would be more beautiful if someone else was doing the restoring. I never should have demonstrated my sculpting skills in the first three years of marriage. Bad idea. Duly noted.
Marci let go of me and started across the floor, her heels leaving little pock marks in the dust. “Imagine the parties we could throw.”
“Sure,” I said, “We can wind flowers around the pillars and hang vines from the ceilings. Every Friday night is Grecian night.”
I got a glare for that one. We were apparently way past squishy face.
So I put on my dutiful husband face and looked around again. The pillars rose toward the arches that ran along the room. Cris crossed ribbon patterns adorned the stonework, making me wonder how those ribbon wielding teams had ever gotten their sport into the Olympics. The three windows at the far end of the room were rectangles with half circles on top. If I squinted I could make out three eyeballs watching the lone chair. Waiting.
Oh great, now I was getting the creeps.